Daily Harvest -- 1/22/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Start your day with Agri-Pulse Daybreak
- Looking for a quick overview on the issues that you need to know as you start your day? The Agri-Pulse editorial team plans to deliver a new electronic product called "Daybreak," starting Monday Jan. 25.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: Jan. 21, 2016: Child nutrition on the move
- (Video) Spencer Chase and Phil Brasher discuss the week's happenings.
Agri-Pulse: USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden to leave USDA
- She had worked with Vilsack since 2009. Michael Scuse, the current under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, has been tapped as acting deputy.
Agri-Pulse: Clifford taking new assignment within APHIS
- John Clifford, USDA's chief vet for the last 12 years, will become chief trade advisor for veterinary services with APHIS' National Import Export Services staff at the end of March.
Agri-Pulse: Experts sought for NAS report on biotech and regulation
- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are looking for members to serve on a committee examining the scientific needs of regulatory agencies as the use of biotechnology continues to grow.
AP: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals says Clean Power Plan can proceed
- Thursday’s order allows federal regulation of carbon emissions pending the court’s review of the case, set for June 2.
AP: Southwestern Energy to Cut 1,100 Jobs Amid Energy Slump
- The company, the third-largest natural gas producer in the U.S., had about 2,500 employees before the announced layoffs, a spokeswoman said.
WSJ: Energy-Market Slump Weighs on Big Railroads
- The dismal energy market slammed two of North America’s biggest freight railroads in the fourth quarter -- Union Pacific Corp. and Canadian Pacific Railway -- prompting them to slash jobs and driving profits below Wall Street’s expectations.
BigIslandNow.com: $3.4 million in renewable energy research funding announced
- “Hawai’i continues to lead the nation in renewable energy generation,” said state Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Checkoff groups try to put 'tax' fight behind them
- (Subscription only) Members of some U.S. industry-funded checkoff groups sometimes feel like Rodney Dangerfield on Capitol Hill. They just don't get any respect and their funding sources are often misunderstood.
The Oregonian: Should Oregon counties be allowed to ban GMOs on their own?
- Some farmers are back to pushing for a county-by-county approach, but Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue says his group backs a statewide approach. "We want to preserve the right of farmers to make decisions on their own farms, without every single entity in the state getting to determine what farmers can and can't raise on their farms," he said.
Portland (Maine) Press-Herald: Legislature renews debate over GMO labeling law
- State lawmakers are asking whether Maine should begin requiring labels on food containing genetically modified organisms rather than wait to have their law "triggered" by laws passing in neighboring states.
WAPT.com: Mississippi man sentenced for poisoning milk on dairy farm
- Man receives 18-month sentence and is ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution for pouring chlorine, acid and bleach into a stainless steel container of milk after it had been collected from cows on March 28, 2014.
The Hill: Dem senators express concerns with GMO labeling initiative
- In a letter to the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy (both Connecticut), Markey, Leahy, Sanders and Tester said the group’s voluntary SmartLabel program discriminates against a large segment of the population by relying on smartphone technology to give consumers the information they’re seeking online.
Reuters: New $130 million project aims to cut food waste from fields to tables
- The seven-year, $130 million project aims to tackle food waste from crops in the fields to dinner tables in industrialized nations, the Rockefeller Foundation said in its announcement at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: Independent agency holds big sway over TPP trade deal
- Congress is not the only target of lobbyist entreaties. Instead, advocates and foes are appealing to the International Trade Commission in order to influence its report on the deal’s economic impact, which the commission hopes to produce by May 18.
GlobalNews.ca: Saskatchewan ministers meet with Ottawa to discuss TPP
- Representatives from the federal government were in Regina on Thursday as part of their nationwide TPP consultation effort. They met with Trade Minister Jeremy Harrison and Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart at the legislature.
MarketPulse: NZ to sign TPP on Feb. 4
- New Zealand said Thursday it will host a signing ceremony for the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact in Auckland on Feb. 4 ahead of the implementation of one of the world’s largest free trade zones.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Senate panel approves controversial sportsmen's bill
- EPW committee approves bill 12-8, with one Democrat in favor, but Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., vows to fight to prevent it from coming to the floor.
Agri-Pulse: Democrats block veto override of anti-WOTUS measure
- Senate Republicans failed to overcome the presidential veto of a measure to kill the Obama administration's Clean Water Act rule, but they plan to keep pressing the issue.
Agri-Pulse: Senate vote on WOTUS comes up short
- (Audio) The 52-40 vote was not enough to allow for debate on the disapproval resolution.
Agri-Pulse: Feinstein releases discussion draft of drought bill
- A new California drought relief bill has been released, but it's anybody's guess whether it has a chance of making it through Congress.
Agri-Pulse: Monsanto sues California agency to stop listing of glyphosate as carcinogen
- The company contends that putting glyphosate on the Prop 65 list is unconstitutional, because California is blindly accepting the verdict of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Des Moines Register: Commodity checkoff is simple solution to water quality
- (Opinion) The impact on small family farms would be minimal — a 500-acre farm would pay approximately $500 each year for the checkoff — even less after taxes.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Fresno Bee: Westlands’ new front group hides farmworker reality
- (Opinion) Westlands Water District has already put $1.1 million into El Agua promotions and reportedly pays its $14,000-per-month operating expenses. Working through firms in New York and California, El Agua has saturated Spanish-language media in California with pleas for more water for these industrial irrigators, claiming it will lift farmworkers out of poverty.
Indo-Canadian Voice: Migrant farmworkers ask Trudeau for permanent residency
- Group launches 'Harvesting Freedom', a year-long campaign for immigration status upon arrival.
TalkingPointsMemo: Undocumented Immigrant Population Hits 13-Year Low
- A new report from the Center for Migration Studies reveals that the number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally is at its lowest number in more than a decade.
Reuters: Senate committee chairman asks CFTC to explain major accounting error
- Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts has asked for a full explanation from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for an accounting error that led auditor KPMG to withdraw nearly a decade of financial opinions about the agency’s accounts.
Bloomberg: Farmland's Record Values Fall As Crop Surpluses Grow
- The American farm boom is all but over. Global surpluses left corn and soybean prices below the cost of production, and the amount of agricultural debt relative to income ballooned to the highest in three decades, just as the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.
California NewsWire: Gov. Brown appoints 29 to agricultural associations
- Districts with appointments: 3rd, 7th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 30th, 38th.
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